First, a little backstory.
Last week, a friend and I delivered a bunch of things to From The Heart. That's the local organization that is a huge clearinghouse for handmade donated items. It's where I donate everything except the veterans quilts. We got to spend some time touring the place and talking to the volunteers about what things they need. I'm mostly interested in the things that they always need. I'm not good at making things for deadlines, like the white and red baby hats that are due by the end of the month. I want to make what I like to make and I'm willing to make it in the sizes that they need. For me, that means big blankets, small blankets, hats, drain bags, seatbelt port pillows and shawls. One thing they mentioned that then always need is small blankets sized 27" x 36". They use them for a children's cancer camp, children's hospitals and wheelchair blankets. With so many destinations it means that the colors/pattern themes can be just about anything. I muddled over that for a few days and had an idea...
This bin of fabric has been around since about 2010.
Here's the proof of how long it's been since I even dusted the bins on the top shelf. I probably need to climb up there with the Swiffer at some point. Ick.
Here's the story on this fabric.
In my early days of dyeing (around 2010) I decided to do a test to see what the shelf life was of each of the pure colors of dye. I made a bottle of every dye and I dyed a piece of fabric each week to see how long it would be before the dye started losing strength. Once I knew that I could make dye recipes and guarantee that my colors would be consistent. The result of that experiment is this table. It was an invaluable exercise for me but it was kind of stupid to do it on full fat quarters. Because many of the dyes last 9 week, I have a LOT of fat quarters. I also have some fat quarters from some other tests that I did and they have all been hanging out in this bin waiting for a new purpose in life.
They have that purpose now....a collection of small lap quilts.
I removed all of the date tags and sorted the fabrics in color groups.
Over the weekend I started soaking them. Another reason I hadn't used them was because I knew they needed soaking. I dyed these way before I developed the soaking process to remove excess dye. They really needed the soaking time!
While they were soaking I also found this set of fat quarters that Anne and I dyed the very first time we dyed fabric, probably in 2007 or 2008. I'll add them to the group too.
Here are all of the fabrics washed and ironed. Most of the colors have 8 or 9 fat quarters.
There are a total of 112 fat quarters or 28 yards! I've decided that I will make quilts based on a 3" grid and will try to stick to squares and rectangles to keep the piecing easy and fast. I will only need the equivalent of 4 fat quarters for each quilt.
In my stash I have lots of fabric yardage that I can use for backing and binding so that should get rid of another 28 yards. I'll use scrap batting from my projects (not from the veterans quilts) and I have some bags of poly batting that I can also finally use up.
Here's how I'm going to work. I'll pick a fabric for the back (and binding) and design tops to go with that backing. I have 4 yards of this butterfly print so I'll make 4 tops. I could do turquoise and orange, blue and gold, pink and turquoise.....
My first quilt is pink and purple and came together in just a couple of hours.
I expect I'll work on it in fits and starts but it will be a great project for times (like now) when I'm not motivated to start a new big quilt yet. Some of them will be more kid centric and some will be more sedate (blues and grays) for the adult.
The funny thing is that once it's all done this is all the space that I will have cleared.
That's not quite true. I will use some yardage from a drawer in the basement and I'll clear out some batting piles, but, otherwise, my space will still not look very different!
Going forward I'll call it The Lap Quilt Project
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.